Saturday, January 1, 2011

Environmental Shopping

            There must be some better way to discover what would be an ecologically sound decision to make.  We’ve spent a lot of time recently trying to find healthy, environmentally friendly personal care products and still haven’t gotten something that both works well, doesn’t have to be shipped from a long distance, and doesn’t cost a fortune.    Today I wanted to get a case to protect the iPad we were given as a Christmas gift and I wanted it to be as environmentally friendly as possible.  For me, that includes not being made of leather, which eliminates a lot of choices.  Because Kathy already had a black case for her iPad I also wanted a different color.  I found lots of options but none of them seemed great. 

            There were eco-friendly leather cases (which it turns out means they were still made from animal’s skins but didn’t use harmful chemicals in the processing). 

            There were lots of cases with environmental slogans. (My favorite was ‘lose the lawn’.) Unfortunately none of them said anything about being made in an environmental way and most of them were made out of leather.

            There were bamboo cases.  I almost bought one of these. It looked very nice. Bamboo can be grown every three to five years from the same plants, it releases tons of oxygen into the air while it’s growing, and it’s a pretty strong wood.  I couldn’t tell though, whether it was grown using pesticides or whether the workers were fairly paid, it had to be flown from another part of the world, and it didn’t have a cover on it to protect the touch screen while it’s not in use.

            I found some very nice sleeves made out of recycled clothing, but no cases.  Sleeves are great for travel but don’t protect the iPad during daily use, when it’s also apt to be dropped, scratched, or otherwise injured.  The sleeve that I liked the best, though, was made from a pair of recycled old jeans. While it wouldn’t help on a daily basis, as a travel option it’d be great.  I think the next time one of my pairs of jeans wears out I’ll make myself one from them.

            After a long time searching, I ended up in frustration by buying a blue silicon case for the iPad.  It’s got a cover, it’s not made of animal products or plastic, it’s made in the US, and it’s not black. I think it’ll protect the iPad, but I’m not at all convinced that it was a sound environmental choice.  There has to be a better way to make these decisions.

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